It remains unclear when the X-Men will make their debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the Disney+ shows keep pushing things in that direction. Such was the case with the latest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Not only did Sam and Bucky, along with an unlikely ally, pay a visit to a prominent mutant-centric location from the Marvel Comics universe, but there were several other X-Men Easter eggs during their little visit.
Warning: this post contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3 from here on out. Proceed with caution. The episode sees Sam and Bucky partnering up with Zemo. They have formed an uneasy alliance with the villain to discover the truth behind this new super soldier serum that has emerged. Looking for leads, the journey leads them to Madripoor, an island nation that may well be familiar to those who have kept up with X-Men comics over the years. Bucky describes it as an old "pirate sanctuary" at one point.
In the pages of Marvel Comics, Madripoor is a fictional island located in Southeast Asia that has appeared in series such as New Mutants, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Punisher War ZoneX-Men Blue. The location was introduced by legendary X-Men scribe Chris Claremont and artist Steve Leialoha in 1985's New Mutants #32. While it is a fixture of the Marvel universe in general, it is often associated with mutants. Previous set photos during filming indicated that Madripoor might factor into the show's storyline. They also hinted at the possible inclusion of a villain named Ogun. No luck on that front. At least not yet.
Additionally, a trailer for the show indicated that the duo was set to take a trip to Madripoor. In any event, this is a major tip of the cap to mutants in the MCU. What's more, during the trip to this city, they pass a watering hole called Princes Bar. As it just so happens, a character by the name of Patch frequents the establishment in the comics. Patch is the alter ego of Wolverine when he's visiting Madripoor. So this could, in a roundabout way, be a close link to Wolverine.
Lastly, a character named Selby, the proprietor of an establishment called the Brass Monkey, appeared in the episode. She provided some intel to the gang and was quickly killed. Or so it seems. Deaths in the MCU have a way of not sticking. In any event, a character by that same name was a mutant in the comics who was a part of the Mutant Liberation Front. So this could also be viewed as a link to mutants and the X-Men in the MCU.
This, coupled with Evan Peters' inclusion as Quicksilver in WandaVision continues to build a case for the X-Men coming to the MCU sooner rather than later. We know a reboot is coming at some point down the line. It's just a matter of when, not if. In the meantime, it seems the folks at Marvel Studios will keep laying a trail of breadcrumbs. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3 is available now on the Disney+ streaming app.